London Architecture Biennale and Architecture Week got off to a fine if sweaty start this weekend. We’d particularly recommend ‘Transit’, an Iain Sinclair-narrated short film by Emily Richardson, in catacombs beneath Smithfield Market - spooky, thought provoking and surprisingly deserted when we visited. Here’s our pick of the many events happening over the next couple of days. And don’t worry about missing the football. They’ve thought of that…
Blueprint Big Breakfasts: The chance to share a Smith of Smithfield breakfast with, and listen to the musings of, celebrity critics of architecture. You’re too late now to find out how Janet Street Porter likes her eggs in the morning. But from tomorrow you can breakfast with Alain de Botton, Simon Jenkins, Jude Kelly and Boris Johnson. You’ll need to book in advance and have £25 to spare, but it’s an impressive set of guests.
Charity auction: at Smithfield House from 6pm. Get your hands on genuine architectural models, photos and plans from prominent UK architects and designers.
Sustainable Suburbia Debate: At the Jarvis Hall, 66 Portland Place from 6.30. Join in a debate, chaired by Jonathan Glancey, on the pros and cons of future housing developments in the south-east. Would you buy a home on the Thames flood plain?
Open House Floats: a river boat tour designed for fans of architecture. Sets sail at 6.30 from Embankment Pier and costs £15 (including drink).
Treasure Island: Not a rollicking pirate adventure for kids, but a tour of the former home of Island Records (Nick Drake, Bob Marley, etc.). The offices in St Peter’s Square are now occupied by architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Free tours every two hours from 10 am till 6pm inclusively.
Pave Your Own Way: Can there be anything more dull than a paving slab? Not anymore. Come along to 148a St John Street over the next few days and make your own imaginative slab, mixing images, text and colours into the aggregate. The best slabs will be placed in public places. Fame, of sorts, could be yours.
Designing the Faith: a ‘multimedia assessment’ of the meaning of religious buildings in a secular culture. To make things spicy, the event is housed in the crypt of St James, Clerkenwell, followed by a free screening of the England Sweden game. After the match, a selection of football-based games are on offer, in the LAB table-top World Cup. I think we know what the new religion is.
Architecture & Psychoanalysis: Special debate at the Freud Museum addressing the question ‘How do the spaces we inhabit make us feel?’. Starts at 7pm and costs £5.
Official Architecture Week image by Serge Seidlitz.